The pairing was successful for both men. Schonert led the nation in passing efficiency (164.5) and the Pac 10 in touchdown passes (19). Fassel enhanced his reputation as an outstanding quarterbacks coach.
Fassel and Schonert have been reunited; Schonert has been added to Fassel's staff as the quarterbacks coach. Schonert replaces Sean Payton, the former offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, who last week was named the assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach of the Dallas Cowboys.
In making the announcement, Fassel confirmed that he will continue to call the offensive plays, as he did for the final nine games of the 2002 season. The Giants finished 10-6 and earned an NFC Wild Card playoff berth.
"Turk will be the quarterbacks coach, and I will remain the play-caller," Fassel said. "I've known Turk since his senior year in college. I've followed his career. He's a product of a system I'm a product of, the Bill Walsh system. Turk understands the fundamentals of the quarterback position. He played it, he's coached it, and I'm excited to have him on the staff."
Schonert is equally enthused about joining the Giants and getting an opportunity to work with Kerry Collins, who set Giants team records for completions (335) and passing yards (4,073) in 2002.
"I'm extremely excited about working with Jim and his staff," Schonert said. "I know a few guys on that staff. When I played in Cincinnati, Jim McNally was the line coach there, so I know all the great things he's done.
"I'm really looking forward to working with Kerry. I think Kerry is at that point in his career where he can be one of the top, if not the top, quarterback in the league. He can take his team to the top prize, which is the Super Bowl. Kerry has come into his own in the last couple of years. He understands the system and what Jim is trying to do. I think Jim getting more involved in the offense has helped. You can see the last half of the season, Kerry was playing as well as anybody."
Schonert began his coaching career in 1992 as the quarterbacks coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was hired by Sam Wyche, his former coach with the Cincinnati Bengals, who that year became coach of the Bucs.
"I had no coaching aspirations when I played," said Schonert, who had a nine-year NFL career. "I saw what the coaches went through and all the hours they put in. Toward the end of my career, I thought about it more, and I had some coaches talk to me about it. When Sam Wyche got the Tampa Bay job he called me and asked if I would be interested in going down there and coaching quarterbacks. I knew him, I knew the system. He had no coordinator, so I knew I would teach the system to the players and coaches.
Schonert's four-year stint with the Bucs ended after the 1995 season. He returned to Cincinnati, where he spent two years hosting a sports talk show. Schonert returned to the NFL in 1998 for a three-year run as the quarterbacks coach of the Buffalo Bills. He joined the Panthers in 2001.
As a senior under Fassel at Stanford, Schonert set school records for completion percentage (67.1) and lowest interception rate (2.71). He was a ninth-round draft choice of the Chicago Bears in 1980 but never played for the team.
Schonert began his NFL career in 1981 with the Bengals. He played in Cincinnati for five years, was traded to Atlanta for the 1986 season, then returned to Cincinnati from 1987-89. In nine seasons he played in 72 games, many as a holder for placekicks. Schonert completed 311 of 504 passes (61.7 percent) for 3,788 yards, 11 touchdowns and 20 interceptions.
A native of Torrance, Ca., Schonert was born on Jan. 15, 1957. His full name is Turk Leroy Schonert. He and his wife, Beth, have two sons, Jake and eight-year-old Hayden, and a daughter, 11-year-old Camery.